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Posts with tag supreme-court

The Lawbringer: The odd future of bill S. 978

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Mathew McCurley takes you through the world running parallel to the games we love and enjoy, full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps. How about you hang out with us as we discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of the games we love to play?

The machinima and streaming communities built around World of Warcraft are filled with some of the most talented and creative people in gaming, from awesome musicians to dedicated streamcasters. The first time I ever got to experience the WoW beta back in 2004, I was watching someone stream footage of their human warlock messing up mobs in (if I remember correctly) Westfall. Streaming is beneficial to gaming, MMOs, and e-sports because of video games' competitive nature and spectator-oriented design.

You've probably heard of Senate bill S.978 already, most likely from many video game blogs and news outlets or YouTube campaigns fighting against the passage of this bill. Bill S.978 aims to institute a "10 strikes" policy, making the unauthorized streaming of content a felony, resulting in potential jail time. The main purpose of the bill is to strengthen the law and punishments available to organizations such as the MPAA and other content conglomerates to stop illegal streaming of millions upon millions of dollars in stolen entertainment. As is the way of things, gamers might be caught in the crossfire.

Some of you fine readers sent me a few messages on Twitter asking me to weigh in on the 10 strikes streaming bill and maybe give a basic analysis of the thing, so I shall oblige. Lawbringer this week is all about the odd future of bill S. 978 and what it could mean for MMOs and WoW.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

The Lawbringer: Supreme Court decides Brown v. EMA

On June 27, 2011, the Supreme Court of the United States of America ruled that video games fall under the same First Amendment speech protections as books, movies, music, and art. Justice Scalia wrote the opinion, decrying California's attempts to restrict speech as, at the same time, too under-inclusive and too over-inclusive. What does that mean for the video game industry? What does this decision mean for video games in general? Self-regulation, it seems, is doing the job when it comes to keeping parents in charge and violent video games in the hands where they belong.

If you have no idea what Brown v. Entertainment Merchants Association (EMA) (formerly Schwarzenegger v. EMA) is about, check out my first Lawbringer feature on the topic as well as Gamasutra's feature, as it is probably the best, concise understanding of the case as it was back in November of 2010. Now, however, we have a decision. After being argued on Nov. 2, 2010, the Supreme Court decided on June 27, 2011, by a vote of 7-2 that the California law banning the sale of violent video games to minors was unconstitutional.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

The Lawbringer: Arguing about video games

Pop law abounds in The Lawbringer, your weekly dose of WoW, the law, video games and the MMO genre. Running parallel to the games we love and enjoy is a world full of rules, regulations, pitfalls and traps. How about you hang out with us as we discuss some of the more esoteric aspects of the games we love to play?

One day, massively multiplayers will be center stage at the Supreme Court of the United States of America. We aren't there yet, but one day. Hell, we just got video games as a genre of entertainment on the lips of the Supreme Court justices. I'll talk about the Supreme Court case Schwarzenegger v. EMA later on, once we've got more to go on than the opening arguments, etc., and give you a rundown in the simplest terms possible about what is being argued over. For now, I'd like to talk about the language of video games being used in the case and get a little ranty about who gets to argue about video games.

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Filed under: Analysis / Opinion, The Lawbringer

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